Revenge of the Fallen Gravity Bots Mudflap Toy Review

in 2009, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Movie (2007), Revenge of the Fallen

Revenge of the Fallen

General Information:
Release Date: June 2009
Price Point: $12.99h (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Locking pin

Images:

Text from Hasbrotoyshop.com:
Being part of the AUTOBOT team on Earth is a dream come true for MUDFLAP. He used to collect holograms of OPTIMUS PRIME and the others, and now here he is, fighting alongside them! The DECEPTICONS better watch out, because MUDFLAP might be young, but he’s also strong!

Tilt this super-cool MUDFLAP figure back and watch as it automatically converts from robot mode to an awesome Chevy Trax concept car in vehicle mode! Let your imagination soar with this must-have figure for your collection!

Gravity-Bots are a new sub-line of Transformers product. The name refers to the primary gimmick of the toy: it transforms by itself. For years, fans have often wondered what an "auto" transforming figure would be like, and while we've had the likes of Battlechargers and Jumpstarters in G1, those mechanisms were relatively simple, requiring only one or two parts moving to complete the transform. Gravity-Bots are more complex, and they utilize the force of gravity as part of their transformation, hence the name.

Gravity-Bots are definitely aimed at a small sub-sect of the collecting population. Their appearance is rather bulky and dare I say it, "cute". The auto-transformation feature may seem like a novelty to some, but others may miss the complex play of moving parts around themselves to create the figures' alternate form.

Robot Mode:
I began this review biased, and I guess I begin all my reviews that way, but this one more so. I really have no love for the "twins" as portrayed in "Revenge of the Fallen", and I think both characters were wasted opportunities in the movie. However, there are times where a bad character will actually have a neat toy representing him, and that's where I have tried to approach this review, from both a functional and aesthetic point of view. Still, reorienting my thinking like this has done nothing to reduce my utter distaste with the head sculpt on this figure. Sadly, Mudflap's head sculpt is very movie accurate, so he has the uneven, bug eyes with the floppy ears on the side and outstreched jaw. Essentially it looks like someone took Odie from Garfield, smashed his face into a Gremlin (from the 80's film of the same name) and then smacked it around with a baseball bat and then mechanized it. What's worse, unlike other versions of this character you couldn't even pop the head off and replace it with a better looking one since it is cast as part of the upper body section.

Even with my distaste of the robot head design, I have to admit the rest of the robot mode is pretty nice. Like the other ground based Gravity Bots, the sides and front end of the vehicle form the shoulders and armor around the arms. If you look inside the arms, his hands are set in an open palm position. What struck me as interesting is that the designers did not bother to make one arm larger tha the other as he has been portrayed in the movie. Even a slightly larger right arm would have reflected this difference in arm sizes and I think it could have been done without affecting the functionality of the figure. Oh well.

The chest plate and lower body are where the higher concentration of details can be found. His chest panel has large, round headlights sculpted onto it, mirroring those found in the vehicle mode. In between the headlights is the grille with some jagged armor details over it, reflecting the movie's aesthetic. His leg details sort of peek out of the rear of the vehicle section including mechanical parts leading down to two details that look like wheels. At the bottom of the robot mode you'll find small protrusions meant to look like the toes found on the CGI model's feet.

Mudflap is cast in metallic flake orange, black and silver plastic. The orange makes up most of the figure while the silver parts can be found on smaller pieces such as his forearms and the wheels on his back. The black plastic is of course used for his wheels. Silver, black and light blue paint are used for detailing the figure. Silver is used to fill in a lot of details including his nose and mouth and parts of his chest and legs. Black has been used for all his windows. The light blue is used for his eyes and for the unique "dot" details on the headlights, matching those from the vehicle mode. This one detail was the one that I liked the most out of all the paint decos because it was nice to see the fidelity to the vehicle mode held to this level. A nice touch.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Be sure the pin on the lower back side is not inserted.
  2. Lay the figure down on a flat surface, making sure the small wheel in the middle of the back presses against the surface.
  3. The arms will swing up automatically, covering up the robot head.
  4. Simultaneously, the middle panel will rotate around and the flap at the top will swing down to form the back of the cabin section.

Vehicle Mode:
While other vehicles such as Sideswipe may lose some of their sleekness in their transition from a sleek vehicle to a super deformed one, the Chevrolet Trax doesn't have the same issue. The vehicle is a bit of a boxy, bulky car to begin with, so having a compact, super deformed version doesn't affect its appearance much at all. In this form Mudflap carries over most of the primary details of the Trax including:

  • The distinctive round headlights that angle downward.
  • The grille with a divider piece in the center. This piece has the Chevrolet logo sculpted onto the center.
  • The curved sections above each wheel.
  • A high bumper design.
  • The license plate has "Trax" sculpted into it, much like the first run releases of the Mudflap deluxe scale figure.

The same colors from the robot mode carry over here, but we get a lot more silver thanks to the front end and the curved sections above each wheel all being painted that color. The light blue "dots" appear again on the headlights here and the black shows more now that the windows are part of the visual focus of the figure. Color-wise my favorite part has to be the metallic orange. It's a very vibrant color without being "loud".

Unfortunately, something must have happened at the factor level with my Mudflap figure because there is a weird scrape on the top of the cabin section. I discovered this coming right out of the package. Definite bad quality assurance on this particular figure.

Final Thoughts:
Gravity Bots are sort of a hard sell. They cost about the same or more than a deluxe figure that is more movie accurate and has weapons, articulation and more detailed sculpting. Much of the appeal of a Gravity Bot is its ability to transition details from the CGI model to a simplified form and the gimmick of the auto transformation. Unfortunately neither of these is enough to overcome the sheer ugliness of the head sculpt. Sadly, it's not that the head sculpt is inaccurate or too simplified. It's actually very accurate and detailed, and that sadly is the problem. Not recommended.